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A Compleat Map of North Carolina

Collet, John __Cartographer
Place Made:
London England
Date Made:
ink on paper
HOA: 30; WOA: 44 (sight)
Accession Number:
DESCRIPTION: A map of North Carolina with parts of South Carolina and Virgina showing, items labeled include: rivers, towns, islands, counties, and mountains. There are two scales and right hand bottom corner has the English crest with animals around the inscription.
LABEL NOTES: The “Collet” map of North Carolina is actually a compilation of information collected by two men. William Churton of Edenton, surveyor for the Granville District, had been commissioned to work with Joshua Fry and Peter Jefferson of Virginia in 1749 to extend the North Carolina-Virginia boundary line. Churton supplied the information to Fry and Jefferson for their 1754/55 map of Virginia which included the Granville District of North Carolina. He also surveyed land for the Moravians in 1752. Churton continued to collect information for a map of the colony until his death on an expidition in 1767. He willed his map to Governor Tryon, at the colony’s capital in New Bern.

When Swiss-born captain John Abraham Collet arrived in North Carolina in 1767 to take the command of Fort Johnston on the Cape Fear River, he became well-liked by Governor Tryon, and was entrusted in 1768 to take Churton’s large manuscript draft of the North Carolina map to England. That manuscript is now in the Public Record Office. Tryon commissioned Collet to continue work on the map.

When he returned to North Carolina, Collet continued to collect information, adding valuable data relating to roads and settlements in the western region of the colony as well as maritime markings. Note the inclusion of the Moravian towns in the Wachovia tract. (Information compiled from Williams P. Cumming, NORTH CAROLINA IN MAPS).

In the records of the Moravians for 1773 Friedrich William Marshall reported:

“About the middle of September a letter came from our dear Governor, and with it a map of this province, which we had long tried to secure but without success. He had finally found one, and sent it to us as a gift. If our Representative goes to Newbern this month to the Assembly that will be our best opportunity for thanking him, and for sending him a map of this County showing the line recently tun between Rowan and Surry.”

Credit Line:
Lent by the Wachovia Historical Society